HOW TO WRITE A SCHEDULE
You have a date, venue, and way to track registration for players intending to play in your event. You probably have a start and end time as well. Now you want to figure out how to fit all the games into the time limit you have. Keeping in mind that you’ll need a little time at the start to get everyone settled and ready for the first match (and we will publish a post on how to pair players for matches in on Tuesday), and you’ll need a little time at the end for recognition of achievements and awards, and it also might be a good idea to have some time designated for lunch… you want to be sure enough time is scheduled for players to complete their games!
One relatively easy way to adjust the time allowed for game rounds is by adjusting the size of the armies involved, and since Coalescence is using matched play points you can scale this up or down. The suggested point values are 1,500 matched points which can also be broken into 1,000 and 500 point forces with a hero in each component. Six hours should be enough time to accommodate the three rounds of games with about 15 minutes between rounds for you to calculate scores and pair players for the next round. Two hours for the first round, 90-minutes for the second, and two hours for the third (even at 500 points the third round is a multi-player Triumph & Treachery game so will take more time to resolve). Experienced players will likely complete games in less time than that. If you’re aiming for an 8-hour event (including lunch), you could consider scaling up the point values to 2K, 1.5K, and 750 points respectively. One NEO, for example, only has 5 hours for the event and is limiting players to 1,000 points in the first round, 750 in the second, and 500 in the third.
It is usually easier to schedule more time than actually needed (you can always grant a longer period for lunch and allow yourself a little more time for scoring), especially since this is a narrative event and many players may want to socialize more than a tournament and talk about the stories behind their armies and heroes. Not providing enough time for game rounds may rush players, although that looming deadline of “dice down” may add some pressure and feeling of action moving toward capturing the shard before the other teams can do so!
Consider the players you know are attending, and keep their play styles in mind. If your group is experienced and enjoys the intensity of playing games within a tight time limit and aren’t usually interested in talking about the finer points of narrative over a luxuriously drawn-out lunch hour, then consider shortening the the scheduled time for game rounds. There is at least one NEO’s event which is featuring some skirmish action between rounds, so you could consider adding an additional round or a lightning skirmish round to fill the schedule. But make sure you provide enough time for your players to enjoy their games and enjoy the time to socialize between games. And give yourself enough time to manage the event so you don’t feel rushed. With a wider schedule you may even have time to keep track of everything and play in some games yourself!
The final part of the pack is being polished as this post is published and will be out in the next day. Look over the battleplans and determine how much time you have and whether you should modify the size of armies or number of game rounds.